Ariana Grande was in tears as she discussed the bombing at her Manchester concert in 2017.
The singer, 25, was promoting her new album, Sweetener, in an interview with Beats 1 Radio on Friday, August 17, when she began to cry.
DJ Ebro Darden played the final track on the album, “Get Well Soon,” and admitted that Grande got very emotional as the song played in the studio. As he asked her to discuss the track, the “God Is a Woman” singer struggled to hold it together.
“It’s just about being there for each other and helping each other through scary times and anxiety,” she said. “You know, there’s some dark s–t out there, man. And we just have to be there for each other as much as we can. Because you never f–king know, you know. So I wanted to do something to make people feel good and less alone.”
“It’s not just about that,” Grande continued. “It’s also about personal demons and anxiety and more intimate tragedies as well. Mental health is so important. People don’t pay enough mind to it because we have things to do. We have schedules, jobs, kids and places to be, pressure to fit in, Instagram Stories — whatever the f–k facade you’re trying to put on, trying to keep up. People don’t pay attention to what’s happening inside.”
“I’m so sorry, I’m falling apart,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes. “That’s why I felt it was important. I just wanted to give people a hug musically. I feel like the lyrics can be kind of corny when I talk about wanting to hug you and stuff, but I really do. … People got to be nicer.”
The song features 40 seconds of silence at the end, bringing its running time to 5 minutes and 22 seconds, which fans speculate is in tribute to Grande’s fans who were killed or injured when a suicide bomber detonated a device at her concert in Manchester, England, on May 22 last year. The attack killed 22 concertgoers and the BBC reported earlier this year that more than 800 people suffered physical and deep psychological injuries. Almost half of those killed were under the age of 20.
“We see this s–t on the news, it affects you but not the same way. You feel bad, you tweet it, you post a picture, you send your condolences, you say something and then you move on. But Christmas comes and you’re thinking about it,” Grande said, choking up. “People are permanently affected by this s—t. Perspective, it changes everything. It changes your life quite a bit. You really want to be present, and follow happy impulses, and figure that out later. You want to just stay in the moment. You try not to give in to fear because obviously, that’s the whole point of being here. That was the point of finishing my tour, was to set an example for my fans who were fearless enough to show up to the f–king shows. You want to set the same example, you want to keep going. You want to not be afraid because, of course, that’s what they want if you give them that, they’ve won.”